Inspiration Hack Your Morning Routine for a Healthy, Productive Day Don’t check your email, eat a mindful meal, and other ways to make the most of your morning By Cameron Cler I never understood the adage “Rise and Shine.” Every time I hear my alarm go off in the morning all I want to do is snooze and snuggle. While extra sleep and cuddling definitely have positive physical and mental benefits, I resolved in the new year to learn how to hack my morning to create balance and find success throughout the rest of my day. Introducing new healthy routines to your morning ritual can help you make the most of your “me” time, preempt stressful situations, and accomplish personal and professional goals. Here’s how. Don’t Hit Snooze I snoozed my alarm four times this morning and woke up feeling more rested—said no one ever. Instead of getting thirty more minutes of patchy, interrupted sleep, get up and use those precious moments to achieve personal goals. Developing this consistent habit makes it easier to get up on the first alarm every time. Eat a Mindful Meal Most people would say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, if you are scarfing down a protein bar while running to catch your bus to work, you may be negating the health benefits of eating with unnecessary stress. Try setting one day a week aside to sit down without work or personal distractions to focus on what and how you are eating. Many diets advocate for mindful eating because you are more intune with your levels of hunger and less likely to overeat. Set Goals The morning is a great time to think about your intention for the day and three things you want to accomplish. By limiting your list to three goals you set yourself up for success while leaving time for the other random tasks that inevitably come up throughout the day. Get Some Fresh Air and Exercise Studies have shown that morning exercisers are more likely to lose weight and maintain their routine than those who try to fit in exercise in the evenings. In the morning we are not competing with social events, work obligations, or general fatigue. For some people it means sleeping in workout clothes to ensure they leave the house. Others sign up for a gym class or join friends for extra motivation. If you aren’t a gym goer check out some other ways to stay fit without a gym membership. Even just walking to the nearest coffee shop will invigorate you as you take in the crisp morning air. Embrace a Digital Detox As tempting as it may be to check your email upon first opening your eyes, try to observe a time away from technology an hour prior to going to bed and one after waking. Read an article on my experience with a digital detox where I realize benefits such as better sleep, closer personal relationships, deep creative thinking, and decreased stress levels. Whether you take five extra minutes to meditate or extend your morning to observe a full hour for yourself, taking time to set up your morning with intention can create the foundation for a more successful day. Photo courtesy of Flickr user jessicajuriga. — Cameron Cler is traveler at heart, obsessed with seeing the world and discovering ways to contribute to positive global change. As a registered yoga teacher, she balances her constant travel and work in the startup world by channeling her inner yogi and welcoming peace in chaotic moments. Her passion is cultivating creativity and inspiration while sharing travel stories, yoga classes, wellness tips, and smiles with her friends, family, and students.